Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.


Data Linking Aspartame To Cancer Risk Are Too Weak To Defend, Hospital Says

Oct 24, 2012

We almost brought you news today about a study that appeared to raise some troubling questions about aspartame, the popular sugar substitute found in many common foods like diet soda. Note the key word — almost.

A study due to be published at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and released to reporters earlier in the week under embargo found some correlation between drinking diet soda and an increased risk of leukemia and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as a few other rare blood-related cancers.

But at 2:24 p.m. — about a half-hour before the paper was to publish — we and many other news outlets who had been working on the story got an email from the senior vice president of communications at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"It has come to our attention that the scientific leaders at Brigham and Women's Hospital did not have an opportunity, prior to today, to review the findings of the paper," Erin McDonough wrote in an email to us. "Upon review of the findings, the consensus of our scientific leaders is that the data is weak, and that BWH Media Relations was premature in the promotion of this work. We apologize for the time you have invested in this story."

Now, the paper still got published, although the editor of the journal, Dennis Bier, told us that the reviewers pushed back during the editing process. They wanted to make sure "that the conclusion made it clear that chance was a plausible explanation of the findings," he says. "The journal tried to ensure that the caveats were adequately presented."

A co-author of the paper, Harvard's Walter Willett, who sits on the editorial board of the ACJN, told us earlier today by email that "I do think this finding is strong enough to justify further study on aspartame and cancer risk."

However, it seems as if senior scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital decided that the data weren't ready for prime time. And all along, in the course of our reporting, the researchers we interviewed (who were not connected with the paper) had raised cautions.

"The results are really not that strong," Amy Subar of the National Cancer Institute told us yesterday.

And from Don Berry of MD Anderson Cancer Center: "I'm not convinced that this paper shows a relationship between blood-related cancers and drinking diet soda."

Marji McCulllough of the American Cancer Society had pointed to inconsistent findings. For instance, the increased risk in Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was found only in men, not women. And regular, sugar-sweetened soda also seemed to lead to a similar increased risk of cancer.

And statistically, some of the findings teetered on the edge of significance.

The paper's lead researcher, Eva Schernhammer of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, acknowledged to us yesterday that her manuscript had been turned down for publication by many other journals, including the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet and the British Medical Journal.

So why were journalists even covering the paper? Well, most of the experts we interviewed agreed with Willett that — despite the limitations — the findings were significant enough to justify further research.

As we reported earlier this week, Americans drink a lot of diet soda, and there's some evidence that it can help maintain weight.

So we get it. Any evidence that there's a potential health concern with something as popular and ubiquitous as diet soda has to be pretty solid.

As journalists at NBC note, "the situation is a great example of why the public often finds science confusing and frustrating."

We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

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